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Shadowrun Returns brings back one of our most original & cherished game settings as a 2D turn-based RPG for tablets & PC.
Shadowrun Returns brings back one of our most original & cherished game settings as a 2D turn-based RPG for tablets & PC.
36,276 backers pledged $1,836,447 to help bring this project to life.

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Posted by Harebrained Schemes LLC (Creator)

Hi everybody, 

Jordan here with our last update before Shadowrun Returns gets into your hands. (Wow, I can’t believe I just typed that!) 

I want to take a moment to personally thank you again for all your support over the last year or so. It’s been so great hearing from you on the forums, meeting you in person at cons, and eating the bagels and pizza you sent us. It’s definitely an experience I’ll never forget!

I also want to publicly thank the team at Harebrained Schemes for all their incredibly hard work over the past year. What a great group of people! They’re passionate about making games, about working in a highly-collaborative, high-energy environment, and about making Shadowrun Returns. They’ve really risen to the challenge and it’s been a pleasure going on this adventure with them.

On behalf of the team, I sincerely hope you enjoy Shadowrun Returns. It’s been a labor of love and represents one of the greatest collaborations of my career. Thanks again for the opportunity.

So what’s next? Well, work on the Berlin campaign has already begun. And Linux, of course! And localization!

But that’s not all... 

Below, you’ll see the first piece of concept art and a little video that tells you about our next Harebrained Scheme, Golem Arcana, which will launch on Kickstarter in August.

While it was tempting to start another tactical RPG project similar to Shadowrun Returns, we really believe in the potential that Kickstarter holds for launching new game worlds and experiences. I had this idea brewing in the back of my head for awhile and we decided that now was the right time to launch a new Harebrained Scheme.

So, the core Shadowrun team will continue to focus on Shadowrun Returns, while a small part of the studio branches off in this bold new direction. I'm really excited about our new game world and I hope you will be, too. Take a look below.

Have fun tomorrow, chummers!

Jordan and HBS

“The Foundry” by acclaimed Destiny and Guild Wars concept artist, Kekai Kotaki

For more information, go to

Countdown to the Return!

Posted by Harebrained Schemes LLC (Creator)

Hey everybody!

It’s hard to believe that the launch of Shadowrun Returns is only 7 days away. Holy smokes! It’s been quite a marathon. Thanks for sticking with us during this amazing adventure.  

Remember back in December, during Jordan’s fireside chat, when he said we didn’t have a marketing budget? Well... we still don’t. But we have something better than money. We have our community. 

We have you. 

If you believe that crowdfunded games should be encouraged... 

If you believe that indie studios should be supported... 

If you believe that the Shadowrun universe should live, thrive, and survive... 

This is your call to action. [Cue heroic music.]

Take this freshly-minted trailer for Shadowrun Returns and post it! Share it! Write pithy comments about it! Show it to your mom!

But wait, there’s more... 

We’ve got new Facebook profile pics and cover images. We’ve got Twitter avatars. Wallpaper for your PC. Wallpaper for your phone. Here's the link:

As gamers, we know that a lot of paid marketing efforts are kind of useless. Most of us rely on the opinions of people we trust to help us figure out what we want to play next. So please get the word out and get people talking - not just about the game but about how they have the power to add to it and tell their own stories using the Editor.

Thanks again. We’ll see you on launch day!


Great News!!

Posted by Harebrained Schemes LLC (Creator)
Starting today, emails containing Shadowrun Returns Steam keys are going out to all Backers and HBS website Pre-order customers. This will help ensure that everyone has their keys in time for the launch on July 25.

Please note that the keys will not unlock the game until it is released on July 25th. Once we flip the switch, you’ll be able to begin the download from Steam and play the game when it completes. More specifics on loading your Steam key will be included in the email we send you.

Also on July 25, your DRM-free version of the game and the digital rewards for your pledge level will be available via your HBS Account. Go to to download them on launch day.

As a reminder, your physical rewards will begin shipping in the first week of August. Delivery dates are determined by geographic location.

We thank you for your patience in advance! It is likely to take a few days to get all the emails out, so please watch for the email, check your spam folder and, if you don’t receive yours within a few days, contact us at 


PS: More YEAR OF SHADOWRUN goodness!

Our friends over at Catalyst Game Labs are now taking pre-orders for their Standard, Limited Edition and Deluxe “Mayan” Limited Edition of Shadowrun, Fifth Edition. Go to for more information. Take a look - it’s big and it’s pretty!

You’re cordially invited to ...

Posted by Harebrained Schemes LLC (Creator)

We’re really proud of the Shadowrun Returns art team and excited that they have the opportunity to show off some of their work with an art show at the Raygun Lounge on Capitol Hill in Seattle. The show includes a large selection of art and concepts from the game as well as personal contributions by members of the art team.

If you’re in the Seattle area, come join us tomorrow night starting at 6pm for the opening of the show! Make sure to check out the pieces down the street at Gamma Ray Games, too.

  • The Art of Shadowrun Returns 
  • July 11, 2013 
  • 6pm - 9pm @ The RayGun Lounge 
  • 501 E Pine Street - Seattle, WA 98122 

Can’t make it tomorrow? The show will be viewable through August 7. Here are just a few pieces that are in the show.

The Seamstresses Union – Echo Chernik

Harlequin - David Nash

Drek – Adeline Ducker

It’s Happening

Posted by Harebrained Schemes LLC (Creator)
1 like

Here it is: The Official Release Date for Shadowrun Returns is July 25, 2013.

We know we’ve been saying June for some time, but now that we’ve reached this final stage of development, and although our Kickstarter funding was spent some time ago, we've decided to invest additional time in bugfixing and polishing the game. That means a longer crunch period for a tired team, but everyone agrees that it’s worth it.

One of the most common pieces of Backer feedback we've received over the past year is that we should take the time we need to ship this game. We really appreciate that, and we know we've thanked you already about a hundred times already, but we're doing it again because we mean it. Thanks.

You gifted us with your trust as well as your funding and we take that responsibility very seriously. You gave us the opportunity to contribute to something bigger than ourselves and something we think is worth all the time, sacrifice, and hard work. Soon, we’ll give it all back to you.

It’s amazing that this update is one of the last before Shadowrun Returns gets into your hands. It’s been an amazing adventure, and as we round the final corner and see the finish line in sight, we want to take a moment to reflect - not on how we got here, but on why we started in the first place.

For us, the mission has always been clear - we’re making Shadowrun Returns because we believe that after 24 years of tabletop, console, board, card, and action-figure games, plus all those novels, Shadowrun remains a rich, vibrant, and relevant setting to play and tell stories in and we want everyone to be able to share our love of it.

From the beginning, this whole thing has really been about a shared community experience.

  • Shadowrun itself is a shared world. For decades, tabletop Game Masters have been sharing their Shadowrun stories with players in their living rooms, novel authors have been sharing their Shadowrun stories with readers, Jake Armitage shared his own story in the Shadowrun SNES game, and so on.

  • Our Backers shared a belief in the project, the cost of development, and the year-long + experience of watching the game develop.

  • With the Shadowrun Returns Editor, everyone is empowered to author and share their own stories with the community, to support each other’s creativity, and to improve upon the work we’ve done to get things started.

  • We see our Seattle campaign, “The Dead Man’s Switch”, as the FIRST story of what we hope will be thousands of stories, rather than as THE story of Shadowrun Returns. When the game ships, you’ll have access to our entire Seattle campaign using the SRR Editor, allowing you to use it as a reference and starting point for your own stories. We hope that by sharing our campaign in this way, we’ll accelerate the growth of Shadowrun storytelling.

  • Harebrained Schemes, Catalyst Game Labs, and Cliffhanger Productions all share in the Year of Shadowrun and the management of the community website - a great communication hub and collaboration site for community created content.

Our approach to the project was inspired by our old-school tabletop roleplaying roots - we developed the World (the game systems and art), and the Rule Book (the Editor), and your first adventure (the Seattle campaign).

After the game ships, the power is in your hands. As we’ve said from the beginning, our Seattle story is just the beginning of what Shadowrun Returns can be and we are eager to see what this amazing community will create with the tools we’ve developed.

In fact, it's already happening. 

Backers with early access to the Shadowrun Editor are already building things that surprise and delight us after only two weeks since its release. Check out some of the cool stuff that’s surfaced so far (note that some placeholder art still exists in these videos):

A reverse of our Alpha Gameplay Video by McDougle

A scene by scene recreation of the Shadowrun SNES game by Ledeir 



A thread about The Lost Lamb Mission by Dislexicoder

Some images of cool maps for Deliver Me From Evil Module Conversion by Johnny_Memphis

Shadowrun Identity by Opifer  A call for participation in a full-length (100+ hours) community-made campaign. The goal is to recreate the world of Shadowrun using the original pen-and-paper sourcebooks, published adventures and novels. and

It’s incredibly rewarding to see these folks jumping in with both feet and charting a path for others to start their own creations when they get the game. A buzz runs through the studio when someone finds one of these links and passes it around to the rest of the team.

Oh, and before we go, we thought we’d leave you with these brand-spanking new screenshots of never-before-seen stuff. We hope you enjoy them! 


Important Note for Kickstarter Backers:

Your Steam key (for Windows & OSX) will be available a day early, on July 24th, from the HBS Accounts website, though the game will not activate until July 25th. (If you need help getting access to this site, contact On July 25th, you will also be able to download your DRM-free version of the game and all Kickstarter digital rewards directly from the HBS Account website. More information about physical rewards delivery will be forthcoming in a separate Kickstarter update.